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Hometown Feature On Former Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hometown Feature On Former Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki

From the San Jose Mercury News:


By Darren Sabedra

Mercury News

Troy Tulowitzki will remember this year for its rewarding highs and unexpected lows. After another impressive season for Long Beach State, the former Fremont High standout was drafted seventh overall in June by the Colorado Rockies.

Calling the moment "the best experience of my life,'' he signed for $2.3 million and began his journey toward the major leagues, playing shortstop for Class-A Modesto.

But the fun ended five weeks early. An MRI revealed that a quadriceps injury suffered while running the bases in early July turned out to be a partial tear. He was ordered to rest for two months.

"I never had any injuries before this year,'' Tulowitzki said, sounding puzzled.

Now he has had two, both significant. He missed 20 college games after undergoing surgery to repair a broken hand in February.

But if this comeback is anything like his last one, he has nothing to worry about.

Despite having to sit out a third of the season, he led nationally-ranked Long Beach State in home runs (eight) and was third in RBIs (29). He also hit a team-best .349 and was near the top of everyone's board when the draft rolled around.

"He's going to be a very, very good professional,'' his college coach, Mike Weathers, predicted in the spring.

Tulowitzki, who is 6 feet 3 and 205 pounds, said that before the injury there was talk of him starting next season in Double-A.

The plan now is for him to rehabilitate with a team trainer in Modesto and then return for an instructional league in the fall.

After that, he isn't sure what is next.

Tulowitzki played in only 20 games for Modesto. He hit .259 with four home runs and 13 RBIs. But the average would have been much higher had he not started 0 for 12 and finished 0 for 15.

"When I was playing, it was pretty much what I expected,'' Tulowitzki said. "I didn't feel overmatched. I felt like I belonged.''

The biggest difference, he said, was that every pitcher threw as well as a college ace.

Off the field, his new teammates treated him as he anticipated -- like a golden child.

"I definitely heard some stuff in fun and games,'' he said. "You hear little jokes here and there.''

Some joked that the organization's newest millionaire should convince the manager to start daily workouts later. Some kidded that no one should touch Tulowitzki -- management wouldn't act kindly if the star got hurt.

Tulowitzki figured he would bear the brunt of the clubhouse hazing because one of his good friends, A's shortstop and former Long Beach State star Bobby Crosby, forewarned him.

Crosby experienced similar treatment after the A's drafted him in the first round in 2001. Three years later, he won the American League rookie of the year award.

Like Tulowitzki, Crosby also missed a substantial amount of time this year because of injury but has since come back to help lead the A's resurgence.

Tulowitzki predicts he'll be as good as new when he gets healthy. "Next year will be a good year for me -- knock on wood,'' he said.

posted on 8/20/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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